a woman holding a cardboard sign that reads "take a stand"

Violence Against Women: When Will This Behaviour Start to be Punished More Severely?

Why a young writer feels that there's not enough being done to stop violence against women and girls

Safety and crimeSocial Issues
By VoiceBox ·

Ebony

Hi, I’m Ebony, I’m passionate about fighting for gender equality and women’s rights. I am currently in my 4th year of secondary school, taking psychology, business and computer science. I am also involved in the #WeWill project and part of the Ormiston Trust Youth Advisory Council.

Violence Against Women: When Will This Behaviour Start to be Punished More Severely?

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 Enough is enough! 

 The criminal justice system is failing all the women and girls who become victims of sexual assault, rape and domestic abuse. Victims of these crimes are having to face delays of up to four years to have their cases heard in court and are not receiving the appropriate support they need! Domestic abuse, already widespread across Britain, skyrocketed during the pandemic. According to the Office for National Statistics. for the year ending March 2020, The crime survey for England and Wales estimated that for the year ending march 2020 there were 773,000 adults aged 16 to 74 years who were victims of sexual assault (including attempts) in the last year, with almost four times as many female victims at 618,000. 

I believe we aren't doing enough to ensure the women in our country get the protection and closure they need. Far too many victims never see their cases go to court, and the experience for those that do can often be traumatic. These factors can have a serious impact on a victim's confidence in the criminal justice system and that means the perpetrators continue to get away with their crimes.

Poor prosecution and conviction rates are a key part of the problem when it comes to the justice system’s response to violence against women and girls. However, I also feel like we need more appropriate sentences to deter potential offenders and to convey the seriousness of such behaviours and actions, as it is evident there is not enough being done to safeguard women from sexual assault, rape and domestic abuse. 

There NEEDS to be sentences that can send a strong signal that violence against women and girls will not be tolerated. A recent poll showed seven in 10 women consider action to stop sexual harassment, rape and domestic abuse to be inadequate. Nine in 10 (89%) women and three-quarters of men (76%) also said that imposing tougher sentencing for sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence would be effective in making the country safer for women and girls. I also believe there needs to be more sufficient support for victims put in place for their mental health and safeguarding. 

It is sickening that many people don’t take abuse towards women seriously and how our 'vulnerability' in conflict is a “justification” for violence. How many times are we going to have to say 'STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN & GIRLS' for it to knock some sense into people and the criminal justice system? It is evident that the punishment for abuse towards women is not significant enough to stop it.

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